Written By His Mom
My name is Louise Aswad Snyder. My home parish is in Niagara Falls, NY. My father is the Very Rev. Fr. George Aswad who resides in Grand Island, NY.
On November 5, 2010, my son Ryan Snyder died from an accidental drug overdose. He was only 21 years old. He was an Orthodox Christian. His drug of choice was heroin. It has become prevalent in suburbs around the United States. Ryan experimented with heroin prior to entering college in September 2008. He entered his freshman year and his addiction escalated in a few short months. It is one of the most highly addictive drugs. I had always talked openly with Ryan about drugs and alcohol. I had always told him I would be there for him in his time of need. On December 26, 2008, Ryan was home on Christmas break. We were preparing to go to Grand Island, as we did every year, to spend quality time with our big, loving family. Ryan called me into his bedroom and told me he had a serious problem. He was addicted to heroin. That moment in time forever altered our lives. For the next two years, Ryan's father and I did everything we could to try and help our son. Ryan attended many outpatient and inpatient programs. Finally, my sister called and told me she had a calling from God to bring Ryan to her home in Cincinnati. We figured it was worth a try. Ryan attended church in Cincinnati, received confession, and communion. Throughout his addiction, his faith was tested. While in Cincinnati, Ryan did well for a short period of time and then relapsed.
Ryan never gave up. He wanted his life back. So, he made another attempt to get his life back on track. He was clean for a couple of weeks and doing well. However, the addiction plagued his mind night and day. On November 5th, Ryan tried heroin for the last time.